Review: ‘Superman’ #1 Is A Return To Greatness

For the last year and a half, the classic Superman title has been retired in favor of Clark Kent leading Action Comics and Jon Kent in Superman: Son of Kal-El. Now, in the Dawn of DC initiative, Superman returns, and I enjoyed what I saw.

Joshua Williamson, Jamal Campbell, and Ariana Maher bring Superman back to the forefront of the DCU.

Superman is home, Lex Luthor is in prison, Lois Lane has a new job at the Daily Planet, life is normalizing. But as Clark is getting back into his groove, his enemies begin to ramp up their attacks while Luthor gifts him SUPERCORP. But if only Superman would listen to Lex. Then he could prevent the pain and suffering to come.

This issue is a huge step up from Williamson’s most recent Superman story. There are a few tropes in play (the common corporate-ization of a hero, Lex acting as Hannibal Lector), which do drag it down a little, but overall I like this issue. Williamson is clearly writing from a fandom level, and executes what he sets out to well.

Clark and Lois are written perfectly. Clark is given a few small additions to his character (listening to music to drown out the noise for example), which makes him more human and relatable. Lois is going crazy in her interim position, which so many of us have been there. Then there’s the arrogant narcissism of Lex Luthor, which is executed extremely well. Outside of these character moments, this issue is largely just plot set-up which shows a lot of promise.

The marquee attraction here though is the art. Campbell’s art is immediately engaging, using dramatic lighting to draw the reader’s eye to the focal points on the page. His Clark is modern but still feels like the sweet geek that we saw Chris Reeve play almost 50 years ago. His Superman is a commanding presence on the page, and I love how he depicts his cape in flight. In fact, he uses very little red throughout the issue, except the cape, which makes it even more eye-catching. I love when an artist colors his own work, and this issue proves how effective it can be.

Maher’s lettering is always reliably great. The thing I want to single out is how she did Luthor’s dialogue. The entire issue, Lex is like a devil hanging on Clark’s shoulder. The special balloons she uses for his whispers makes that pop, making the statements way more sinister and invasive than just a standard speech balloon would.

I really enjoyed this issue. The creative team came together to create something special. It’s not perfect, but it is very good. It’s a great reentry point for lapsed fans and starting point for anyone new.

Superman #1 is available now from DC Comics.

For the last year and a half, the classic Superman title has been retired in favor of Clark Kent leadingCOMICONRead More

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